By KRISTINA MORGAN
Not long ago, a study by the University of Pittsburgh confirmed what many of us here at Lake Chapala already knew: people who think positive and enjoy life live longer, healthier lives. Here are five ways living at Lake Chapala can improve your outlook on life—and your health.
1. The Lake has beneficial properties
Lake Chapala itself has rare properties that contribute to the health and well-being of the people who live here. Lake Chapala was studied by the Japanese and found to have the curative properties of both high magnetic levels and bromide emissions. High magnetic levels in nature are said to improve mental faculties, circulation and conditions involving joint or muscle pain, such as arthritis. The mineral bromide has been used since the late 17th century as a natural sedative, sleep aid and mood enhancer. So just by living at Lake Chapala you have the benefit of magnets and bromide, and likely a good night’s sleep, as well.
2. The Climate
Lake Chapala is blessed with one of the world’s best climates. Mild temperatures, and sunny days year ’round contribute to the reasons this is truly paradise. We are a mile high in altitude, like Denver, and on the same longitude as Hawaii. This means that our humidity is low, and the plants that grow in Hawaii also grow here. This makes it second nature to feel positive and optimistic under blue skies, gentle breezes and warm sunshine. Psychologically, open-air activities and our indoor/outdoor lifestyle have a strong restorative effect. For people who struggle with SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder, the Lake Chapala/Ajijic area may be a natural solution.
3. The Lifestyle
Another plus for Mexico is its people and their culture. The Mexican people are among the happiest in the world, according to various worldwide studies and surveys. The Mexicans’ love of family and the importance they place on time spent enjoying life and nurturing their relationships puts things into perspective for many of us former north-of-the-border workaholics. With its simpler, slower, less stressful lifestyle, people just seem to naturally become healthier and happier here at Lake Chapala. In fact, many expats here reinvent themselves, and pursue totally new and obviously enjoyable pasttimes such as writing or painting.
4. Color Therapy
Color is everywhere at Lake Chapala. I come from a state where a yellow house caused an uproar with the homeowner’s association, bright colors in clothing or décor were verboten, and shades of beige reigned supreme as the color of choice. Lake Chapala can be a bit of a shock with all its bright pink flowers spilling over rock walls, paprika-colored blossoms on the African Tulip trees in flaming contrast to the lilac jacaranda trees that leave thick purple carpets on the streets and sidewalks. And it’s not just nature that paints with a liberal brush here—even the houses and businesses, owned by Mexicans and expats alike, are bright colors that would be banished in more staid settings back north.
5. Fresh food
Everyone knows that diets that are high in fresh fruit and vegetables are very good for you. When I visit north of the border, fresh produce is at a premium and very expensive, especially in the winter. And it has usually been sprayed with an assortment of pesticides and dyes. Rarely is the produce ripe, sweet and juicy, as it is here. Oranges? Avocados? Limes?
Here they grow outside on my trees. Although an increasing amount of produce is being imported nowadays and sold through major supermarkets, it is still easy to find beautiful, ripe, fresh fruit and vegetables at a low cost, even organically grown, if you prefer. It really is possible to eat well here for poco dinero. Click here to see Sid Grosvenor’s video showing “What $27 Buys at Lake Chapala.”
All these factors suggest that it is indeed possible to live well, and live longer with a more enjoyable lifestyle here at Lake Chapala. Many people I have met were confirmed pessimists until they came here and found an exciting, healthy life waiting for them. Is Lake Chapala for you? Who knows? If you haven’t been here yet, you might want to come and find out.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kristina Morgan
Kristina has lived and worked in Mexico and the Lake Chapala area for 17 years. Three of her four children were born and raised here, and are now north of the border furthering their academic studies. Kristina is an Unlimited License General Contractor, as well as a Real Estate Broker and Relocation specialist. Although she divides her time between Mexico and the U.S., her heart was claimed by Lake Chapala long ago.